Thoughts on the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie teaser trailer and what trekkers REALLY care about

Enterprise under construction
by Robert Gillis

Acknowledging,and still standing by, what I wrote previously (CLICK HERE) about the idea of an eleventh Star Trek movie, I must admit that I am following development and production of the film closely and am liking what I am hearing and seeing so far.

Perhaps JJ Abrams will succeed in breathing new life into the tired (exhausted?) Trek franchise after all.

That said, recently the impressive teaser trailer for the film was released. It starts with a montage of busy welders and reveals that they are building the starship USS Enterprise in a dockyard (apparently) somewhere on Earth. Interjected into this we hear the sounds of JFK (“…the eyes of the world now look into space”) and NASA (“Godspeed, John Glenn,” etc) during the heyday of the space race, and then Leonard Nimoy’s “Space, the final frontier” voice over, and the reveal of the USS Enterprise saucer, and the unmistakable Alexander Courage Star Trek theme.

The ship is massive, put together through hard work and sweat (and a lot of welding). The trailer shows the Enterprise as never seen before. It is impressive as hell.

And how do you think the Trekkers reacted?

Um, they got into a huge, raging debate that the Enterprise was not built ON Earth, but in space about Earth.

I’m not kidding. The most heated online arguments after the beautiful trailer have been that everybody knows the Enterprise was built in space, and many have added theories as to why this is so, and many others have presented detailed scientific processes by which you can build a starship on Earth and then raise it into space. And it went on and on.

Oh, some complain the lettering of the name is the wrong font, and some say the angle of the nacelles is incorrect. But the majority of comments on trekmovie.com that day of the trailer release (over 500 of them) were debating — passionately — whether Enterprise was built in space above Earth or on Earth. I’m not kidding. It was on the wall by the turbolift for 79 episodes!

May I say this to everyone who is already nitpicking a 30 second trailer: For everyone arguing canon about whether the Enterprise was built in San Francisco ORBIT or IN San Francisco (ON THE GROUND) — if anyone can cite a specific line of dialogue from any canon aired episode of any of the Trek series or movies confirming/denying this, please speak now, or shut up, willya?

For 79 episodes, Kirk’s Enterprise 1701 said “USS ENTERPRISE, STARSHIP CLASS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.” on its bridge dedication plaque — didn’t say anything about WHERE in the Bay City: Didn’t say ABOVE it, ON THE GROUND, at the Presidio, delivered by trolley, or in dry dock in geosynchronous orbit of the San Francisco. Just SAN FRANCISCO.

So that we can all be friends, sing Kumbaya, and move forward with our lives, I have come up with a Trek resolution that makes sense about the Enterprise’s construction. It’s based on, “A wizard did it,” the standard all-encompassing explanation for any continuity errors noticed by hardcore fans of any given fantasy show. If it doesn’t make sense, A Wizard Did It. Move on.

So, with apologies to the Simpsons …

At the Star Trek / Comic Book / Xena convention …

Professor Frink: Yes, over here, n’hey, n’hey. In episode BF112, the Enterprise was clearly said to be built in space above San Francisco, and now you have it built on Earth, Please do explain it.

Lucy Lawless: Ah, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that, the temporal cold war changed it.

Frink: I see, all right, yes, but in episode AG4, the font of the lettering on the hull — Lucy Lawless: Temporal Cold War. Frink: But in the same episode the proportion of the Nacelles–

Lucy Lawless: Temporal Cold War.

Frink: [under breath] Aw, for glaven out loud.

Bottom line I: there’s just no pleasing some people. Bottom line II: If the images in the trailer are indicative of the type of movie experience coming in December, Star Trek may indeed rise from its ashes. I’ll be watching.

And for the record, EVERYONE knows the Enterprise was really built at Area 51.

Star Trek 2009 Enterprise Trailer

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